A severe shoulder injury suffered in training has prompted Jiri
Prochazka
to exit the UFC 282 headliner and vacate his light
heavyweight belt.

As a result, a 205-pound clash pitting Jan
Blachowicz
against Magomed
Ankalaev
has been elevated to the UFC 282 main event on Dec. 10
after Glover
Teixeira
, Prochazka’s original opponent, declined to accept a
title fight against a new adversary.
Yahoo Sports
was first to report the changes at the top of the
UFC 282 card. Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev will be for the vacant
205-pound championship.

According to
ESPN
, Prochazka’s injury will keep him out of action for up to
a year. The former Rizin champion decided to vacate the belt out of
respect to the other contenders in the light heavyweight division.
Prochazka claimed the crown by rallying for a fifth-round
submission of Teixiera in the UFC 275 main event on June 12 — his
13th consecutive victory as a pro.

“It was actually Jiri’s decision,” Prochazka’s manager, Tim
Simpson, told ESPN. “He has a samurai way of life, and once he knew
how long he would be out, he said, ‘I must respect the other
fighters and let them fight for the belt.’ He believes they can
have the belt but he will still be the champion.”

Blachowicz has won six of his last seven Octagon appearances, with
his lone defeat coming in a championship loss against Teixeira at
UFC 267. He returned to the win column against Aleksandar
Rakic
at UFC on ESPN 36 when his opponent suffered a knee
injury in the third round of their May 14 bout. His resume includes
victories over the likes of Israel
Adesanya
, Dominick
Reyes
, Corey
Anderson
, Ronaldo
Souza
, Luke
Rockhold
, Nikita
Krylov
and Jared
Cannonier
, to name a few.

Ankalaev will bring a nine-fight winning streak into the matchup
with Blachowicz. His 2022 campaign thus far has included a
five-round verdict over Thiago
Santos
at UFC Fight Night 203 and a second-round TKO of
Anthony
Smith
at UFC 277.





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Injured Prochazka Vacates Title; Blachowicz vs. Ankalaev Elevated to UFC 282 Main Event